Monday, September 30, 2013

The Chatham Press Highlights Hudson-Chatham Winery

In the Fall 2013 issue of The Chatham Press, Jacqueline LaChance wrote a great piece about the Hudson-Chatham Winery entitled THE VINTNERS OF GHENT. A great piece about what's gone on in the last seven years at the winery. Great photos and lots of good information! Lot's of memories too. We've had some challenges over the years, and we've had lot's of great people to see us through them!

Thanks so much to Rich Kraham and Jacqueline LaChance!!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gregoory Dal Piaz, Recommends You Try Something New...Like Us!!!

Taste something new and different
One of the grand pitfalls of wine tasting is finding a wine you like and then burrowing deeply into that variety or region to the exclusion of all others. Look, I get it it, you like that wine more than all the other wines you've tried. The thing is, there are all those other wines you haven't tried, and you'll never know what you think about those wines until you try them.
Drinking California Cabernet will someday get boring, no matter how great the California Cabernets you're drinking are. Be prepared for that day by knowing what other wines you like. Not only will you be able to easily switch things up for a change, which may actually prevent that day of getting bored with one of your favorite wines from coming, but there are so many lesser known wines out there that offer incredible value, so you'll probably even end up saving some money!

East Coast Expert Richard Leahy Writes About Hudson-Chatham Winery

Richard Leahy is a wine writer and consultant who has been reporting on the wines of Virginia and Eastern North America since 1986. He became well-known in the Eastern wine industry as East Coast Editor for Vineyard & Winery Management, and is the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Editor for the ground-breaking Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America (2000), a regional editor for Kevin Zraly’s  American Wine Guide. and assisted Steve DeLong on his recent Wine Tasting Notebook. Mr. Leahy is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers, professional organization of leading wine journalists based in the U.K.
Richard was the Executive Director of the Virginia Wine Experience in London in May 2007. Richard coordinates the conference program for the Eastern Winery Exposition, a major wine industry trade show for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern wine industries that takes place in Lancaster, PA annually in early March. - C. DeVito, Editor
Summer 2013 Adventures. Act II: Hudson Valley Quickie
With business in New England I stopped en route in the Hudson Valley to visit some wineries. I had hoped to visit three or four but became pressed for time and could only do a “quickie” tour visiting one heading east and one heading west. However both wineries were well worth the visit as I expect more of this old region is, home to the oldest continuously operating winery in the country (Brotherhood).

The Hudson Valley has long been pooh-poohed by wine sophisticates in the Big Apple, and while the Finger Lakes and Long Island regions have gained renown in the last decade with vinifera-based wines, the Hudson still has its strong suit in French hybrids, while often making vinifera wines from grapes brought in from those two other New York regions. However, the Hudson has also become a hotbed of the farm-to-table locavore movement, and the rise in its prestige for food sourcing for ambitious restaurants has shone a light on its now-respectable wine region as well.

Hudson Chatham WineryIn fact, Wine Enthusiast magazine recently had an article on the Hudson Valley which mentioned the wineries as well as the locavore movement, and one of those wineries was Hudson Chatham Winery, located about 15 minutes south of I-90 off the Taconic State Parkway south of the town of Chatham (1900 State Route 66, Ghent, NY 12075). While the winery makes perfectly fine vinifera wines from Finger Lakes fruit, its own vineyard is exclusively planted to French hybrids, a common situation in the Hudson Valley due to lack of the cold climate-moderating effect that the deep Finger Lakes or the Long Island Sound provide in those regions that allows them to plant cold-tender vinifera varieties.
Hudson Chatham Winery

I had heard that baco noir was a strong suit in the Hudson Valley, but the grape does not enjoy a good reputation. However, some baco specialists (such as Henry of Pelham Winery in Ontario) claim that if baco noir is treated with respect in the vineyard and winery, it will provide a fine red wine, and I have seen this happen, so I was pleased to discover that Hudson Chatham has an old vine reserve baco that reminded me of a fine Piedmontese red like dolcetto d’Alba or possibly barbera. On this brief visit I realized that baco noir has real potential for top quality in the Hudson Valley, and that local wineries are realizing that potential.

The Hudson Chatham baco noir estate old vines 2010 had an impressively dark violet color, an autumnal nose of dried cherries/plums and a bit of smoke, and smooth dark fruits on the palate with lively acid and spice in the finish.

I was also impressed with the seyval blanc 2012 (Hudson Valley) was very good, with an aromatic nose of grapefruit and melon. On the palate it was zesty with vibrant racy citrus and loads of grapefruit; a great food wine for summer.

The estate seyval block 1 2012 was barrel fermented in French oak. The nose was complex butterscotch with hints of pineapple. On the palate there was loads of zesty acidity but enough toned down by oak, with complexity and fine long minerality in the finish, a stylish wine.

The third excellent French hybrid wine showed that looking down on hybrids without tasting them first is grape racism. It was a nice surprise to taste a rare varietal leon millot 2011 (Castle Vineyard), with a nicely purple hue, clean earthiness on the nose, with smoky cherry notes, and on the palate, a fine fruit/oak balance with solid red fruits and a smoky finish.

A fun Hudson Chatham wine is their Hudson River Valley Red 2012 which is a hybrid red blend with 20% carbonic maceration and some grapes ripasso (concentrated through drying). The nose is smoky with smoky strawberry rhubarb hints. Palate is juicy with forward fruit, not sweet but easy and gently fruity.

Non-hybrid wines (with brought-in fruit) were also solid. A dry Riesling 2011 (Finger Lakes) had racy slate/flint notes with lime accents on the nose, with a palate of solid apple fruit with a grapefruit core. The wine drinks dry but is still fruity.

I was also impressed with the cabernet franc 2011 (Long Island) for a tough year; it had a light cherry nose, fragrant strawberry juice, light but clean and fresh.

I was even more impressed with the merlot 2011 (Long Island) with 24 months in 2 year old French oak. The nose is clean cherry with sage; on the palate it’s juicy and fresh and forward but dry; stylish.

DeVito is both versatile and consistent in quality. His cabernet sauvignon vintage port 2009 had classic cassis with smoky juiciness on the palate with fine tannins and well-balanced acid.

Perhaps the best red was the Empire Reserve 2010 (Merlot from Long Island, Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, and Baco Noir from the Hudson Valley). Bottled after 2 years and aged 6 months in the bottle, the nose has lots of cherry and dark bass notes of clean forest floor. The palate is closed but elegant, with a fresh Italian feel; stylish and promising.

The most original and impressive thing I tasted at Hudson Chatham was a cider from a 100 year old orchard with heirloom varieties. The nose was fine and complex but elegant. On the palate, it was vibrant with fine acid, fresh and crisp, but resembling champagne more than most commercial ciders, with a lively bead and tight fruit/acid balance.
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Monday, September 09, 2013

Hudson-Chatham Wins Nine Medals at Hudson Valley Wine Competition 2013!!!

Hudson Valley Wine Competition 2013 results are in and the Hudson-Chatham Winery won NINE medals, including 3 Double Gold, 1 Gold, 2 Silvers, and 3 Bronze medals!!!

Our Merlot 2010 Reserve was picked Best In Show!!!
We want to congratulate Steve Casscles our winemaker for the results!!!!
The competition took place at the Rhinebeck Fairgrounds, during the Hudson Valley Wine Festival September 7 & 8th!
Come on down and try the winners and several others!!!!
2010 Merlot Reserve - Double Gold Medal
Raspberry Ruby - Double Gold Medal
Bannerman's Castle Amber Cream - Double Gold Medal
Highlands Ruby - Gold Medal
2011 Baco Noir Reserve - Silver Medal
2010 Empire Silver Medal
2011 Baco Noir Old Vines - Bronze Medal
2011 Chelois - Bronze Medal
Hudson River Valley Red - Bronze Medal

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Hudson-Chatham Malbec 2012 Released!

JUST RELEASED in the Tasting Room
2012 MALBEC!

A big, deep, dry red with notes of blackberry and plum. Fantastic!

Malbec (pronounced: [mal.bɛk]) is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France. It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine and is being grown around the world.

Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The Malbec grape is a thin-skinned grape and needs more sun and heat than either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to mature. It ripens mid-season and can bring very deep color, ample tannin, and a particular plum-like flavor component to add complexity to claret blends.

Wine expert Jancis Robinson describes the French style of Malbec common in the Libournais (Bordeaux region) as a “rustic” version of Merlot, softer in tannins and lower in acidity with blackberry fruit in its youth.

The Malbec of the Cahors region is much more tannic with more phenolic compounds that contribute to its dark color. Oz Clarke describes Cahors’ Malbec as dark purple in color with aromas of damsons, tobacco, garlic, and raisin.

Common smells associated with Malbec are:
  • violets
  • juicy fruit tones
  • damson skins
  • tobacco
  • raisins
It's available now!!! Come on down and try some!!!

Monday, September 02, 2013

CBS Channel 6 Albany Highlights Hudson-Chatham Winery

WRGB of Albany (Channel 6) a CBS affiliate, has a terrific series entitled "Road Trippin'" which highlights local businesses and stories within a short drive of the capital region. One such visit was to Ghent and Hudson this past August.

On the short segment, co-owner Dominique DeVito was interviewed, and the winery was highlighted. It's a fun little video. Click on the URL and enjoy!